I know that Earth Day should be every day but why not mark one day of the year as a time where we can assess our lives and look for ways to step it up a notch for the planet and future generations? We appear to be on a toboggan ride to hell with islands being swept up by the ocean, giant glaciers breaking apart and falling into the sea, drought, famine – the sky IS falling. As an individual, there is a sense of powerless with governments being caught up in red tape, unable to forge ahead with sound policies and big business constantly pumping out propaganda against what environmental scientists have been proving for years. The only thing that we can do is put our money where our mouth is. If we all worked together to make the right choices in our lives, we can make a difference.
Here are my tips for creating effective change in your life.
1. Boycott all Monsanto products. I cannot begin to tell you what this company has done to degrade this planet with their “frankenfoods”, agricultural bullying and cancer-causing consumer goods. They are pure evil. Here are a few ways to stay away from them:
- If you’re in the United States, buy organic dairy – it won’t contain Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH), a substance administered to dairy cows to increase milk production that ends up in your body. It contributes to breast and prostate cancer and creates mastitis in cows (VERY painful). It has been banned everywhere else in the world so that should say something.
- Avoid Aspartame, another Monsanto invention that causes damage to the nervous system and immune system. Look for it on labels. You’ll find it in most diet pop, diet foods and low quality protein shakes.
- Do not eat genetically-modified (GMO) foods. Monsanto plays God in the lab creating what has been coined as “Frankenfoods”. The most common GMOs are corn, soy, canola and potatoes. They have been shown to cause gradual organ and immune system damage and they contribute to allergies and food sensitivities. Buy organic whenever possible.
2. Do not use pesticides. My step-father and family dog where both diagnosed with lymphoma at the same time in 1988. When my mother called Environment Canada to investigate what appeared to be no coincidence, she was informed of the link between pesticides and this form of cancer. Thanks for letting us know. Our dog didn’t make it but my step-father is still doing great due to the elimination of pesticides and other toxic chemicals from his life. It not only messes with our health but it pollutes ground water as well. Evil.
3. Go vegan. OK, I know that’s a lot to ask. How about decreasing your meat and dairy consumption and choosing organic? With organic meat, you don’t have to worry about ingesting sketchy toxic sewer sludge that gets spread over cattle crop fields. This sewer sludge has all kinds of interesting things in it from the birth control pill to antibiotics. Our “first world” meat and dairy habits are completely out of control. They are contributing to global warming by producing methane gases, use an insane amount of water and energy and are the number one contributor to water pollution in North America. Take it down a notch. If you want some incentive, watch the documentary Food Inc. or Earthlings.
4. Avoid plastics like the plague. Plastic does not get recycled – it gets downcycled, meaning it gets turned into a different product such as fabric or flooring. The demand for these secondary products is lower than our use of plastics so the majority (76%) of these bottles end up in the landfill after all – for hundreds to thousands of years. It is also a huge health concern. It leeches into products and exposes our bodies to hormone-disrupting chemicals like bisphenol-A (BPA) and pthalates, which may lead to breast cancer, prostate cancer and sexual development issues in babies. When you’re shopping, look for the glass bottle of ketchup rather than the plastic bottle, buy a bar of soap instead of body wash, fill up your own stainless steel water bottle before going out, and bring your reusable bags!
5. Walk, run, jog, bike, horseback, mule…whatever…get out of your car. It frustrates me to no end that we are still so reliant on petroleum to get around. Is the human race incapable of creating an alternative energy source for transportation? I know the technology is out there but politics and greed have been blocking this for years. Until we are driving some spiffy solar or garbage-fueled “Back to the Future” style car, let’s move closer to where we have to go so we can walk or bike. If you must travel, car pool in a hybrid or join a car co-op.
6. Buy local and organic community supported agriculture (CSA) food boxes. Most cities have a few programs set up for pick up or delivery. You will get yummy, healthy produce with little carbon footprint.
These tips are all easy to apply to your life. It just takes that extra consideration every time you take your wallet out, eat or travel. These little things add up to a lot if we all commit to them. We are not helpless, in fact it’s the opposite – the power to change the world lies in each and every one of us.